Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Technical Portfolios

What is a Portfolio?
A portfolio is a collection of projects that highlights your abilities, achievements, and intellect. It allows you to share samples of your work with potential employers using a website or document (.pdf or powerpoint). 
  • The portfolio is designed to do one thing—to support you as you market yourself.
  • A well-prepared portfolio provides "evidence" to the reviewer of your accomplishments, skills, and abilities

How do portfolios differ from resumes?
Portfolios can expand on your resume:
  • They allow you to provide concrete examples of your work.
  • They can directly demonstrate your intellect, technical skills and visual competence.
  • They can also improve your visibility.

Do I need a Portfolio?
A portfolio is useful if you want to demonstrate your technical and design skills beyond the description on your resume.  A portfolio can also set you apart from other candidates since not many applicants use one.  Interviewers and hiring managers remember pictures over text so a portfolio can help you be remembered.  Whether you have a hard copy or an on-line portfolio, you can use it during the Career Fair.  Bring the hard copy or bring a tablet and show the on-line version.

Guidelines for Content:
Pics and documents that demonstrate abilities and experiences which are directly related to hiring needs or job field of prospective employer, and gives a sense of your competencies. In your descriptions, walk your reader through the process from design to completion.  
  • Engineering design projects
  • Future or planned projects – show the design, budget, parts list, calculations
  • Writing samples and a modified resume (see information on copyright and privacy)
  • Labs
  • Club projects

Portfolio Website & Examples:
Students who have used this site say that it’s as easy as Facebook and only took 60-90 minutes to put together their portfolio.  The hardest part is collecting the pictures of your projects.  You can look on the site and see many examples of engineering portfolios – Search for People, then under “Specialties” on the left, click on Engineering.  If you want to see a couple of portfolios by RIT students, look at James Hertzel or Timothy Halsch.

Linkedin as a Portfolio:

The idea is to give users the opportunity to display their work rather than just talk about it. Go to your LinkedIn profile, and next to any module or position on your personal profile you'll see a small square image with a plus sign on it. Click this to either upload a file or add a link to your work.   (See more here)
See this recent RIT grad’s Linkedin page for ideas: Jose Cuevas

Linkedin vs. Coroflot
Should you use Coroflot or Linkedin to display your work (or both)?  Coroflot is picture heavy and text light so if you have a lot of work to display and don’t want to spent time writing and editing content then Coroflot is for you.  Linkedin is text heavy so if you don’t have a lot of pictures to display then you may find that Linkedin works for you.  If you use Linkedin, be sure to spend time writing a strong Professional Heading (the title under your name) and Summary.

Portfolio Link on Resume
You should put a link to your portfolio and/or your Linkedin page on your resume.  It can be placed in your header with your address, email and phone.  Put it in as an active hyperlink so that anyone viewing your resume digitally can click and go.  Be sure that you spell out the whole address though so that anyone who has a paper copy of your resume can type in the portfolio address and see it.

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